Fifth Circuit Enjoins Biden Administration Censorship Program in Major Victory for Free Speech

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued a major ruling on a preliminary injunction to stop the censorship efforts of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In order to issue the opinion on Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit found that challengers were substantially likely to prevail on the merits.

I previously testified on the CISA censorship program and argued that it violated free speech principles. I also testified that the program could constitute a First Amendment violation.

Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

Easterly is now barred from taking any action to “coerce or significantly encourage” tech companies to remove or reduce the spread of posts. The Supreme Court may now have an opportunity to weigh in after the Justice Department appealed the injunction.

The 5th Circuit panel — Judges Edith Brown Clement, Don R. Willett and Jennifer Walker Elrod — found “significant evidence” that CISA ran afoul of the First Amendment in coordinating with the FBI.

The panel found that (1) they were likely to succeed on the merits, (2) there is a “substantial threat” they will suffer an “irreparable injury” otherwise, (3) the potential injury “outweigh[ed] any harm that will result” to the other side, and (4) an injunction will not “disserve the public interest.”

The panel declared:

“It is true that the officials have an interest in engaging with social media companies, including on issues such as misinformation and election interference. But the government is not permitted to advance these interests to the extent that it engages in viewpoint suppression.”

Here is the Fifth Circuit opinion: Missouri v. Biden

58 thoughts on “Fifth Circuit Enjoins Biden Administration Censorship Program in Major Victory for Free Speech”

  1. I cannot imagine why this is not a bigger deal.  The fact that it is not being reported ad nauseam is just amazing to me.  Even in this time of social justice journalism it must occur to them that they can be silenced too.  It is so bad even the conspiracists are starting to sound normal.

    1. “I cannot imagine why this is not a bigger deal.”

      I can’t figure which is more frightening: The Left’s attempts to gut free speech or the media’s and public’s passivity.

    2. A certain brand of progressive ideology now dominates the military, the administrative state, the biosecurity state, counterintelligence and law enforcement, public health authorities, large financial institutions and corporations, higher education, K-12 education and the media. It has won the “march through the institutions.”  

      They cannot imagine being dislodged. And despite their rhetoric, they know that their opposition would not use the same weapons against them. 

      The only way this gets reversed is if Republicans take the WH, Senate and House in 2024. Even then it would take will and discipline to make a difference. DeSantis is perhaps the best bet to organise the fight. 

  2. “I wouldn’t agree that people living under the rule of the jungle have “rights” or “freedoms”.   They have insecurity, injustice, theft, rape, murder.   Why do you think people form government?…to secure their lives and property rights.”

    That comment very accurately describes the Leftist Utopias like Washington DC, Philly, NYC, San Fran, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Chicago…..etc.

    Have not those bastions of liberalism (the Democrat Party style thereof) not progressed to the logical end and should now be held up as examples of what this entire nation is confronting if effective measures are not taken to put an end to that agenda?

    Now we see the Big Guy having a cognitive moment and endorsing genuine border security to include building of all things…..a Wall (fence, barrier…..whatever you wish to call a Wall and be liberally correct).

    If the government can no longer alter the content of social media and the People’s Opinions to conform with its own perverse agenda….however will the Leftists be able to obtain and retain control every facet of your life?

    we should all give thanks for those State Attorney Generals who filed this legal action!

  3. “[T]he Justice Department appealed the injunction.”

    That, alone, is grounds for impeaching Garland.

    He took an oath to defend the Constitution. His decision, his action is a clear violation of 1A.

  4. “our cognitive infrastructure”

    Another Leftist euphemism for a destructive, evil policy — right down there with “gender affirming care.”

    In reality, that euphemism means: Government control over an individual’s thinking and expression. Aka: Censorship.

    Welcome to the Left’s vision of “protecting democracy.” Its leadership is the Voice of the people. And the people will speak with one Voice. Theirs. Or else.

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